Wisconsin Lake Superior Circle Tour Travel Planner
Hurley to Washburn, Wisconsin
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Going West from Hurley to Ashland, Wisconsin

One of Ashland's many famous wall murals decorates this store netx to the Food Coop.
One of Ashland’s many famous wall murals decorates this store netx to the Food Coop.

It’s about 40 miles to Ashland, Wisconsin if you entered Wisconsin at Hurley. If you took the scenic route into Wisconsin via Michigan 505 and entered at Saxon Harbor, it is a few miles less. Depending upon your schedule and interests, allot 50 minutes to 4 hours to arrive in Ashland.

Recommended places and things to do along the route:

  • If you have an extra hour to spare, see Potato River Falls. From US 2 intersection with Hwy 169, go south a few miles through the berg of Gurney. At the south edge of town a sand-gravel road heads west to the falls park – about 2 miles. Rustic picnic area and hiking trails, viewing platforms to for both upper and lower falls. Then return to Hwy 2 and continue towards Ashland.
  • If you want more waterfalls and hiking – and have the time – alternately continue south on Hwy 169 about 15 miles until you get to Copper Falls State Park. Plan to spend about an hour to see the falls and observation tower. Then pick up highway 13 in Mellen and head north to Ashland (about 20 miles).
  • If you are going directly from Ironwood Michigan to Ashland, you might enjoy stopping at the Bad River Lodge and Casino at Odanah along US highway 2. Boondocking RV-ers take note – they offer free parking and a limited number of free electrical hookups.

Ashland, Wisconsin (see pictures & more info here)
Chamber website: www.visitashland.com

You can spend 1 – 6 hours in Ashland on lakewalks, downtown shopping, dining, nature trails, and the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center (which is our recommended *Must See* and accounts for the lion’s share of the minimum of one hour to spend in the Ashland area). Also fill up your water bottles at the Artesian Well.

Recommended places and things to do:

  • Hotel Chequemagon – restored regal victorian hotel on shores of Lake Superior, excellent food and beverage service
  • Artesian Well – fill up your water cooler near Maslowski Beach
  • Walking Tour of the Wall Murals on the sides of many buildings in town
  • Prentice Park – economical camping, picnic area, waterfowl areas and nature trails
  • Krehler Park – reasonable priced RV sites on the lake, convenient to downtown and lakewalk
  • DeepWater Grille and South Shore Brewery
  • Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center: interesting exhibits, bookstore and nature trails http://www.northerngreatlakescenter.org

Restaurant Review – Molly Cooper’s in Chequamegon Hotel

We ordered Planked Walleye with a vegtable medley side dish. Fish was excellent and the veggies were cooked to perfection – hot but still crisp, not overcooked. Wait Staff quite attentive. Bloody Marys nicely appointed and included a snit of beer. Several regional brews on tap. Adjacent deck has nice Lake Superior view. ****1/2

Washburn, Wisconsin (see pictures and more info here)
Chamber website: www.washburnchamber.com

Washburn is about 8 miles north of Ashland on Hwy 13. It has two excellent campgrounds on Lake Superior, one at the south end and the other at the north end of town. Midway between Ashland and Bayfield, it is a good central location for travelers wanting to spend a day or two in the area. A nice round trip full day excursion from Washburn would take in Bayfield, Little Sand Bay, and Cornucopia and then return to Washburn via County C.

Recommended places and things to do:

  • Municipal campgrounds – north & south ends of town. North end better for tents, south end better for RVs. Clean, well maintained, lake views, showers, dump stations, reasonable price. For more info see our Bayfield Campgrounds page.
  • Lakeshore hiking trail
  • Hugo’s Pizza Parlour – Great Pizza in log cabin atmosphere.
  • Historical Museum located in a beautiful 19th century brownstone building
  • Super 8 Motel. Lakeshore view, spacious parking, off the beaten path in nice neighborhood. Restaurant/steak house next door. Near lakewalk.

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